SPAN-L111 — Spanish I — Fall 2019

Professor John Gardner

A204 Moench Hall
+1 812 877 8524


Puntos de partida (10th edition)
Workbook / Laboratory Manual to accompany Puntos de partida — volume 1 (10th edition)
• You also need access to a good Spanish-English dictionary. Several are available for sale in the bookstore and there are others in our library. From Logan Library I recommend the Gran diccionario español-inglés — English-Spanish dictionary published by Larousse [463.21 G753d 1994]. For an on-line dictionary I highly recommend And, although it is too advanced for this class, when you are ready for a good Spanish to Spanish dictionary the Real Academia Española is a definitive source:

Course Objectives

To developing speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in Spanish, to acquire vocabulary and grammatical structures for effective and accurate communication, and to develop an awareness of Spanish-speaking peoples and their cultures.

Make all the mistakes you can!

Making mistakes is a natural and important part of the language learning process. It is OK to make mistakes; everyone in the class will do so. Daily attendance and active participation are very important because they allow you to make mistakes and learn from them before the tests. Don't wait for the test to make your mistakes… make them in class, on your homework and quizzes, and in your workbook so that you can learn from them before the tests.

Be Here Now!

Learning to speak, read, write, and understand Spanish, just like learning any other skill, requires a lot of practice. If you're not in class, you won't be able to practice and you won't learn very much, so attendance, as well as preparation and in-class participation, is very important and is required.

An Important Note

It is the policy of RHIT that “a minimum of two terms of college language must be completed in order to receive HSSA graduation credit.” This means that for your SP111 credit to count towards graduation as anything other than a free elective, you must also take and pass the class SPAN-L112, which is offered during winter quarter.


Short quizzes —usually lasting less than five minutes— will be given almost every day. The purpose of these quizzes is to help you discover which skills and content you have good control over and which require additional work. On all quizzes and written homework, please write the your name, class hour, CM box number, and date. Please write as clearly as you can.

A quiz may take the form of simply collecting that day’s written homework assignment. When I grade a quiz that consists of collecting your written homework, I don’t take off points for wrong answers… as long as you have completed the assignment and it shows evidence of effort (as opposed to just scribbling down an answer in order to have something to turn in) you will get all of the possible points, regardless of how many of your answers are wrong. Incomplete homework will not be given full credit and cannot be made up or completed later.

Your four lowest quiz grades will be dropped in calculating your final grade for the class. But no quizzes are excused for any reason. If you are absent you get a zero, regardless of the reason for the absence. If the quiz consists of turning in your homework, you must turn it in when I collect it; you may not sit there in class doing your homework late and then turn it in at the end of the period. If you forgot your homework at home, well, that’s unfortunate, and you will get a zero, but remember that you do get to drop your four lowest quiz grades. If due to circumstances beyond your control you have more than four absences on days when quizzes are given and you feel that your grade has been unfairly lowered as a result, you should speak to me. In doing so you should be prepared to document the absences in some fashion, if at all possible.

Generally, I give immediate feedback on the quizzes, going over the right answers as soon as the quizzes are turned in. Before I collect the quizzes I will ask people who need more time to raise their hands. If you need more time, make sure to raise your hand; you can’t turn in your quiz after I have collected everyone else’s and started going over the answers.


Daily homework is listed on the pages you can access from the menu on this website. Those pages explain how to understand what the assignment is. Changes to the homework may be announced in class or by e-mail. Some assignments ask you to be ready to do something in class; for other assignments you will need to write something out. Not every written assignment will be collected; some of them will be discussed or used in class.

On some in-class activities and homework assignments, you may be asked to express personal information, such as what your address is, what your parents are like, what time you get up every day, etc. The point of these exercises is to practice the linguistic skills required to express such information; it’s really none of my business where you live or what time you wake up. If you feel uncomfortable giving this information, you should feel free to substitute any plausible answer. But remember that your answer, if not truthful, still needs to be plausible and consistent. For example, if I ask you to say your phone number in Spanish, and you give a number of only 3 digits, your answer will be regarded as incorrect. If one day you tell me your mother is a lawyer and the next day you say she is a doctor, I may think that you don't understand the question.


You should work on the workbook at your own pace while we’re studying each chapter and check your answers in the back of the workbook. In general, all the exercises from each workbook chapter are assigned and should be completed. The homework page will clearly specify if any exercises are to be omitted. The only workbook exercises I will collect and grade are from the final section at the end of each workbook chapter called “puntos personales.” These are relatively open-ended questions for which no answers are given in the back of the workbook. In order to encourage you to do the other assigned exercises, approximately 10% of each exam will come directly from those workbook exercises which are assigned but not collected.

If you need additional time to complete the assignment, ask for an extension at least a day in advance. If the workbook assignment you turn in is incomplete and therefore receives a low grade you may not do the missing sections and turn them in later for credit. If you do not follow the directions for doing the workbook I may either give you a low grade, or ask you to re-do the workbook or parts of it, as I see fit. If you are absent from class on the day a workbook is due it will be accepted with no penalty upon your return to class.

The exercises you turn in should be written clearly, so that I can easily tell what the letters of each word are. You can either tear the pages out of your workbook, clearly scan or copy the pages from your workbook, or turn in the entire workbook. Bear in mind that if you turn in the entire workbook, it may be several days before you get it back and are able to start on the next chapter. Put your name, CM box, and the hour of your class on your workbook assignment when turning it in. If you are turning in multiple loose pages please do not fold the corners over to join them; either use a staple, paper clip or simply make sure that each page has your name on it.

Collected workbook assignments will be graded simply as “acceptable / not acceptable.” Only assignments which are complete and show evidence of effort will receive full credit, indicated by the notation “+” or “10/10”. Unacceptable work is indicated by the notation “-” or “x/10” where x is a number between 0 and 9. If you have any questions or doubts about exercises that are not collected, please ask.

Audio files needed for doing some of the workbook exercises are available as streaming on-line media from


Exams are given on the dates shown online or announced in class. They will focus on skills and content learned since the last test, but will assume that you have good control of skills and content learned previously, and may have a review section about those skills and content. About 10% of each exam will come directly from the workbook exercises which are assigned but which are not collected. This does not mean that you need to bring your workbook with you to take the test; I will copy questions from a portion of the workbook directly onto the test and you will need to answer those questions as part of the test itself.

If you miss an exam for any reason, we can schedule a make-up. In exceptional circumstances (usually if you miss a lot of school because of an extended and documentable illness or family emergency) we may agree to excuse the exam. If you know beforehand that you will be unable to attend on the day an exam is scheduled, please let me know.


If I return your work with the notation “see me” it means you should come see me and bring the work with you. You need to do so within one school week (one week when school is in session) of getting the work back. If you are gone the day an assignment is returned then you should come in within one school week of the day you return to class. Until you come see me the grade for that work in the gradebook will be shown as two percent. If you come see me in a week then the grade will be changed to whatever grade it earned. If you never come see me the grade will remain two percent. If you wait more than a week you may be given a reduced grade for the work.

To make sure you get full credit for the work you turn in, your name, class or section number, and CM box should be written on everything you turn in, and written in such a way that each letter can be easily understood by anyone who knows the alphabet and numbers.


All grades are posted in the Moodle gradebook. The gradebook is the only thing I use Moodle for. Please check your detailed grade in Moodle periodically, and especially before midterm and the end of the term, and let me know of any discrepancies. You should retain all graded work until your final grade has been turned in so that we can easily resolve any discrepancy.

Academic dishonesty

Do not cheat. Cheating can consist of copying from another student during a quiz or test, turning in someone else’s work as your own, changing answers after a quiz, test or other work has been returned and then claiming they were incorrectly marked as wrong, using a book, cheatsheet or internet device during a quiz or test, and many other things. I prefer to make cheating hard in order to deter cheaters, but some people find a way to cheat anyway. If I catch you cheating your penalty will depend on the circumstances, but it will be much more than simply an F on the assignment you cheated on; the amount your grade is lowered will probably make you want to drop the course. Some of the things I do to deter cheating (like seating students a comfortable distance apart during tests) will be obvious; others may not be apparent to you. I don't discuss all the measures I take to make cheating hard, because if I did it would make no difference to the honest students, and would only help the cheaters find a better way to cheat. So, to put it simply: don’t cheat.

Grade category weighting
Examen 1 19%
Examen 2 19%
Examen 3 19%
Pruebas y tarea recogida 28%
Manual (workbook) 15%

Grading scale
A 90 - 100%
B+ 88 - 89.99%
B 80 - 87.99%
C+ 78 - 79.99%
C 70 - 77.99%
D+ 68 - 69.99%
D 60 - 67.99%
F 0 - 59.99%